I once heard someone say, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll definitely get somewhere, but you’ll be miserable.” For me, this really resonates as something reflected in many areas of life. You can’t have a race without a finish line. You can’t bench and celebrate success if you don’t know what that looks like.
Which is why, here at Fruit Marketing, we always start with a goal in mind and a plan to get there. A Marketing Strategy to achieve your vision, that holds true to your mission.
So, let’s start with clearing up some of the jargon for you.
MARKETING STRATEGY – put simply is a plan. It is a plan of action designed to support your business in achieving your long-term or overall goals.
VISION – where you are going, what you aspire to achieve
MISSION – what you do, who you do it for, your motivation and purpose
We are often met with a blank face, panic and frustration, when we start talking to new customers about their strategy, vision, mission and goals.
“When do I have time for that, I’m too busy running my business,” we often hear.
Yet having a clear plan in place and an aligned vision and mission, can save you time. It helps you steer your business in the right direction. It gives a clear image of what success looks like, for you and your team.
If your team have a unified vision and mission, this will empower everyone with the confidence to make the right decisions for your business. Creating greater efficiency, effectiveness and driving cultural alignment within the organisation.
As a business owner, planning, strategising and reviewing is the hardest, yet arguably the most important, thing to find time for. Even for us, here at Fruit Marketing, we have to be strict about ringfencing regular time together as a team to plan and review.
As a new client, we would start our journey together by helping you and your team to develop, review and refresh your business vision, mission and goals.
With our many longstanding clients, we help to keep the vision alive, regularly reviewing and reporting against the strategy in place.
Once we have created clear vision and mission statements, we then get to work creating a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound) marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals.
If all this sounds a little ‘heavy’ then never fear, as here at Fruit Marketing we like to keep things fresh and fun. So, in partnership with Matthew Porter Coaching, we have developed a relaxed, yet pacey and engaging half day workshop to fast track reaching your teams agreed vision, mission and goals.
Here’s some of our recent feedback:
“It was a great afternoon and all the participants enjoyed it a lot.”
“The feedback from the team has been very positive. They found it a very useful exercise.”
“The wider team liked being invited along and to be able to share their opinions too. They said it was good experience and a really positive meeting.”
Having a clear vision, mission, marketing and business strategy are crucial to business growth. Most importantly they are the glue that holds a team together in a unified purpose and path.
We love hearing about new businesses and thinking of ways to help you achieve your goals. To arrange a cuppa and a catch up, please contact us at:
T: 01626 248500E
or read a little more about us at wearefruit.com
Written by, Jo Wood
Most SMEs wouldn’t think twice about seeking an accountancy to manage finances, or external HR support or even IT. But there is greater hesitancy over outsourcing marketing. Why? More than most areas of a business it is fast moving and ever changing.
It needs a professional approach and people who work across marketing and communications day in, day out to deliver best practice for each business. Marketing is critical for any business. It’s the vehicle for sharing your products and goods with your target markets in a strategic, purpose-led way. Marketing is the shop window to any business. It attracts the attention of potential customers and persuades them to purchase your products or services. Marketing is the indispensable voice of your business.
By taking on a Marketing Manager, a business can face an average annual salary of £35,000. And that doesn’t take into recruitment costs, pension or National Insurance contributions, overheads, employee benefits or any other staff-related costs. All taken in, that can cost and SME up to £50,000 per year. That’s quite a commitment. And for one person, when marketing requires a wide skill set.
So why not outsource marketing? Fruit Marketing tailors our offer for each business, after all no business is the same. We offer strategic and operational support. And with four senior professionals, any SME who worked with us, gets the expertise of the whole team.
Business owners who outsource can be freed up to do what they so best – run their business. By choosing to outsource professional services like marketing, they can tap into existing knowledge and expertise from professionals, rather than spend time and money on training staff. Outsourcing is scalable and flexible, SMEs can pay for what they need, rather than having a full-time commitment to an employee. It’s cost efficient, without the overheads of staff. Finally, it can also be a great experience having an external voice as part of the strategic thinking. It allows business owners to have a sounding board to offer honest, professional input from outside the office bubble.
PPC is one of the most cost effective and measurable forms of advertising, yet there are still businesses who neglect to utilise this powerful tool in their marketing operations.
In simple terms, PPC is pay-per-click, a form of search engine marketing in which you only pay each time one of your ads is clicked on. And when we talk about search engine advertising, primarily this refers to the giant that is Google Ads. Other search engines are available, but with 90% of traffic on all devices, Google dominates the market.
PPC is a way of buying visits to your website based on user’s search terms, rather than attempting to earn those visits organically. Often, the impact of PPC can be overlooked by small businesses. It is a less visible, less tangible and not as straightforward as traditional marketing, such as leafleting or newspaper advertising. But not understanding it is no excuse for ignoring it!
It is an essential part of the marketing mix. Search engines are where people – your customers – go to ask questions and to find out about services and products. Think of them as people who are sticking their hand in the air wanting to know more about products and services like yours. These are high quality leads! There is a purchasing interest to their browsing. By ignoring them, you are losing warm prospects or worse still, leaving the way open for competition to engage with them. Indeed, some competitors may even exploit any negligence by “brand hijacking”, ie. paying to advertise to audiences who search for your business name.
It trumps untargeted forms of advertising like newspapers and radio, where you can only hope your target market sees or hears and hope they react to it on their devices. With Google Ads, the consumer is king, the adverts are accessible 24 hours a day on their device at their convenience, relevant for their needs and can be responded to immediately with a click or two.
Most users will spend up to 30 seconds looking at the search results. Therefore, occupying space high in the rankings via PPC, is prime real estate. You need to be seen by eyeballs and under the thumbs of consumers on their devices. PPC is a form of advertising which is non-intrusive to its audience. It is products and services that meet their online query. That’s why it offers real return on investment in generating enquiries. And for the advertiser, it provides real marketing intelligence tracking the effectiveness of your spend and conversion rates, allowing you to make strategic data-based decisions.
At Fruit, we have in-depth experience of local, regional and national PPC campaign set up and management, please contact us today to find out how we can embed PPC into your marketing mix and turbo charge your business’s lead generation.
With a population of around 1.4billion, over 21 times that of the UK, China offers incredible potential for any successful British business seeking to spread its wings internationally. And as business begins to confront the reality of Brexit, many businesses are looking further afield to export their products and services. China is a fascinating opportunity, possibly very rewarding but with significant cultural challenges. At Fruit, we have some experience of marketing in China and taking Western brands into the world’s biggest marketplace and working with Chinese offices.
Before even considering entering China, it is critical to nail down your intellectual property, your value lies in your brand and your credibility. If you have not secured it – or worse still an opportunist in China has already trademarked it – then you could be in for an uphill struggle. The good news if that British brands are held in high esteem – if pitched as a premium offering. Britain has luxurious connotations for the Chinese consumer. Remarkably, some British brands have had success selling tea to China. Far from being a mess of red tape, as some perceive, the barriers are not as big as you might initially fear.
However, what works in the UK and other Western markets will not simply translate to China. Indeed, translation itself is misleading. Forget translation, think localisation. Simply translating a brand can lead to clunky, misleading representations of the brand.
Instead, it needs to be adapted. One of the worst pieces of advice we ever received was to translate a brand’s marketing collateral in Hong Kong. “The gateway to China” we were advised. The result was poorly executed work in Cantonese, rather the national language of Mandarin. With such mistakes, brand can waste money and tank their brand before its even got going.
In localisation, it is also important to build themed marketing activity around prominent Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Summer Holiday, and Golden Week to connect with the Chinese consumer. To go into business in China is also virtually impossible without WeChat, the ubiquitous platform that is a unique amalgamation of features we might recognise from Facebook, WhatsApp, Spotify, Uber, Tinder, Apple Pay and others. It is where the Chinese find entertainment, message friends, buy goods and even book a doctor’s appointment. It is integral to Chinese life.
If it is a move you are considering or need some trusted advice on the way for your Chinese venture, please contact us. We are even open on Chinese New Year.
The transition to the virtual world has been accelerated through the pandemic with event organisers forced to adapt to the realities of lockdown life. But there are indications that rather than a return to normal service after the pandemic, many virtual innovations will be here to stay and for those organisations who have developed their digital delivery through 2020 and 2021, great rewards ahead.
On the face of it, the events industry has been devasted by the pandemic.
Yet, for those who persevered against the odds by pivoting to virtual delivery, there is a blueprint for lowering organisational overheads, reaching, and engaging wider audiences and fresh and lucrative revenue streams. The Virgin Money London Marathon is one such example. As the mass participation market ground to a halt, they postponed their traditional April staging and considered their options. They eventual came up with a model in October that saw an elite-only in-person event taking place in tandem with a virtual event for runners to be part of in their own communities.
It was not without its teething troubles. But they pulled it off with 38,000 ‘virtual’ runners. The brand stayed relevant and with runners peppered across the UK in their London Marathon race bibs, the event had – arguably – a wider reach. They delivered value for sponsors and generated revenue through the virtual delivery. Pre-pandemic, the event was consistently oversubscribed way above its 40,000-runner limit. This year, they have publicly stated they are aiming for 100,000 participants – both in person and virtually, more than doubling participation in a fell swoop.
Other hits (literally) of lockdown have been Gary Barlow’s Crooner Sessions, where has teamed up with the likes of Robbie Williams, Cliff Richard, Jessie J, and many others, striking a chord with millions across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Of course, the Take That national treasure has been delivering the sessions as a pep-up to the nation. But it has provided another indication of the new possibilities of the virtual delivery in all entertainment industries. It is a model that offers theatre and live music huge potential in the future.
In the corporate world, conferences have taken a hit with the traditional trade show and conferences model and their flesh-pressing culture impossible to deliver.
Yet with crisis comes creativity and platforms like GoToWebinar, Hopin and Big Marker have brought the in-person experience into the home. With interactive presentations with Q&A and audience polling features, breakout rooms, digital handouts, and recorded sessions – to ensure that you do not miss a minute, the model in many ways exceeds the in-person experience and is markedly cheaper too.
Of course, when the time comes, there is likely to be a resurgence in the event industry with people desperate for a level of human interaction that has been missing from their lives. But virtual delivery is here to stay with obvious potential in efficiencies, audience reach and the generation of new revenue streams. We expect hybrids model to be the core of event delivery post-pandemic.
Forget all you have heard from other marketing companies. Ignore everything you have been told. We have one guaranteed technique that will turbo-charge leads for your business and drive conversions….is something you will never, ever hear from us. You won’t see us on your social media feed offering simplistic solutions.
Sorry, but there is no silver bullet to marketing. We wish it were that simple.
What you will get from us is solid, honest advice and guidance from our experts with decades of experience. Where we do have a consistent mantra, it is in a multi-channel bespoke approach from client to client. No single marketing technique can work alone if a business is to reach its full potential. Nor will a multi-platform approach that we recommend for one client work as a winning template for a different client.
We will work with you to reach the right people, with the right message, on the right channels at the right time.
We work on a case-by-case basis to fully understand a business, its objectives, its market before plotting a tailor-made approach. It is estimated, according to Forbes (2019), that it requires an average of 7 to 10 touchpoints with a consumer before a sale is made. Which kind of throws that “one simple technique” notion under the bus.
Getting the customer journey right to ensure that your businesses delivers touchpoints in the spaces your target market inhabits is key to prospect marketing. When it comes to delivering your messaging and visual branding, its critical that there is strong consistency across all platforms to reinforce brand recognition and – with effective messaging – nurture positive sentiment among your target customers.
We won’t find you one answer…because there isn’t one. But we will work with you to find solutions that work for your business.
For a technology that has been around for over 25 years, the QR code has had a chequered history (sorry, we could not resist that one!).
It is a feature of marketing that arrived with great fanfare, but not with widespread acceptance in the UK. It’s not quite a comeback that excites like the Spice Girls or Take That. Yet, yet this is one 1990s return that could actually be ‘back for good’.
Ironically, the pandemic has been the catalyst for the potential of QR codes finally being realised by UK businesses and their marketing departments.
As of December 2020, the NHS COVID-19 app has been downloaded over 20 million times in the UK and over 750,000 posters with QR codes have been created through the Government’s services to service test and trace. In short, we have suddenly become a nation of QR code users. It has been a long time coming.
Heritage sites across the UK were among the early adopters to utilise QR codes as a way for visitors to quickly access further multi-media information on site in the early 2000s and enhance the customer experience. But they were underused with uptake limited in the UK.
It is not the pattern globally. In China, consumers are reliant on QR codes for digital interactions, to make financial transactions, to access further information, and to authenticate their identify – all supercharged by the giant WeChat social media platform.
In India too, the QR code has become embedded in consumer life with retailers embracing the technology in their millions. QR codes use is also surging in parts of Europe, USA, Africa and the Middle East. It is inevitable to surge in the UK and is a technology that marketing professionals will need to urgently review.
Modern day marketing is grounded in data and analytics. Digital media has enabled businesses to track consumer behaviour and provide a true measure of their marketing activities, which threatened more traditional printed marketing channels such as advertising, leaflets and posters. After all, if you can’t measure the return on investment on a marketing channel, how can you be sure it is working?
However, the QR code changes all that and will enable businesses to make fuller informed decisions on marketing budgets – and perhaps lead to a comeback for traditional marketing channels?
As consumers become more open to the QR code, it provides businesses with a fresh avenue to reach customers, to better understand their behaviour, to better inform them of their products and services, to better interact with them and ultimately, to sell to them. Perhaps those 1990s trends were not so bad after all?
January is always a time to refresh, reset, reimagine, repurpose. If you are a business seeking to reach a new customer base or concerned that you are losing relevance to your existing customers, a time to review your brand.
With lockdown 3 causing a slowdown in operations across many sectors, now is an opportune moment to bring some of the bigger projects off the shelf to be tackled for the longer-term strategic success of the business. Does your brand still articulate who you are, what your business can offer its customers and what makes you different?
Some businesses and organisations may even come to the realisation that a business needs a wholesale rebrand.
This could be when a business has evolved, and the existing brand has limited connection with customers it would like to reach. It could be that the current branding it is outdated and recollects a past era, either with colours or fonts that have fallen from favour.
Sometimes a rebrand can almost be forced on a business – when its reputation has been hit by some bad press or a poor reputation. It is also critical for any successful business to clearly articulate how it is different from its competition, its brand must therefore stand apart.
If it does not, then it can cause confusion and risk its relationship with customers, worse still, lose them to a similarly branded rival.
A brand has many elements beyond simply a logo, colour scheme and fonts – although those are a crucial part of the brand’s identity. It’s vision, values, narrative, tone of voice and messaging are all elements to be fed into a brand and bring clarity to what you deliver.
One of the most iconic rebrands of recent years is Compare the Market’s introduction of Alekxandr Orlov, the Russian Meerkat. The attention to the backstory and the clever use of the business name’s close resemblance to the much-loved creatures was a wholesale winner.
In the sporting world, one of the most contentious brand alterations was Cardiff City FC. Known as the Bluebirds with and 104 year history, their kit was changed from blue to red at the behest of new Malaysian owner Vincent Tan in 2012.
In overriding the club’s history, the clubs fans were alienated, a disconnect was created between the club and their audience and – inevitably, the kit sales plummeted. Three years later and the club reverted to their traditional colours.
A brand that has made subtle shifts over the years is market-leading crisps Walkers. Without jarring loyal customers, they have consistently evolved to stay relevant. Their most recent incorporates a subtle Union Jack in the background of the logo to communicate the brand’s ‘Britishness’.
If you are interested in a brand review, contact the team at Fruit Marketing – we have experience of managing some of the UK’s most prominent travel, food and drinks, leisure and professional services brands.
Stories create connections between people – they appeal to our emotions. No one is immune to a gripping tale. Whose ears haven’t pricked up or moved to the edge of their seat when someone says “Hey, I’ve got a good story for you.”?
People are emotional beings and their behaviour reflects it, including what they buy and what they don’t buy. Being a distant, faceless business with a good product has never been enough, particularly in today’s digital landscape. So many options are at the end of our fingertips, screaming for you attention, a little human touch goes a long way.
Who are you? What makes you tick? What’s your story? How do I connect with you? Finally, why should I give you my hard-earned money?
A brand’s narrative is a critical part of any organisation’s branding strategy. It must be grounded in truths – authenticity is essential. Every brand must have a clear purpose meeting needs of people. It needs to be relatable to win hearts over and create an emotional bond and loyalty between the brand and the consumer.
A good narrative gives your customers reason to buy your product or service. Every brand has an interesting story behind it, it just needs to be effectively and engagingly articulated. A great brand narrative can maximise your business’s reach, engagement, impact and profit.
Apple are a great example of a brand whose story has enabled it to become a market leader.
Apple still has a lot of the DNA of its co-founder and former CEO, the late Steve Jobs embedded its brand narrative, be it covertly or overtly. Despite being a multi-billion dollar corporation, it still has a brand that evokes a slightly maverick, but entrepreneurial spirit with an obsession to put the users (customers) needs first.
It is still a brand that commands enormous loyalty from its audience, that few others in the tech industry emulate. Largely, it’s down to its story. They have built a connection with their customers and from that, an enormous business.
Turtle Tots is one of the world’s leading baby and toddler swim schools. With over 50 franchises across the UK and Ireland, it is a network of successful businesses that helps thousands of families by teaching babies and toddlers the benefits of swimming.
Launched in Bristol in 2011 by founders Caroline Sparks and Gabby Lixton, the business quickly grew with the franchise model enabling others to build their own flexible and rewarding businesses.
Their award-winning programme, begins with aqua-natal yoga lessons for mums-to-be, and continues with specialist and progressive baby swimming lessons from birth, and toddler/pre-school lessons. In 2019, around 13,000 babies and toddlers swam every week with Turtle Tots.
Every Turtle Tots teacher is trained to the highest international standards with Swim England or the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) and is endorsed by Professor Greg Whyte OBE, Olympian and Sports Scientist and board member at Sport Relief and Comic Relief.
Turtle Tots makes a difference in the lives of every family it touches. But they go a step further, every single franchise donates at least 1% of their revenue to charity.
Fruit Marketing has been proud to work with Turtle Tots for nearly three years, including developing Local Marketing Guidelines for each franchisee and delivering national campaigns for their classes. From 2018 to 2019, we helped increase their weekly client base by 11% and their year on year revenue by 11.7%.
As with anyone operating in the leisure industry, 2020 has been a challenging year for Turtle Tots. But they were recently awarded the gold award at the prestigious Approved Franchise Association 2020 Awards. With strong foundations in place, it is a business that is expected to bounce back strongly in 2021.
Co-founder Caroline Sparks said: “Fruit have been able to offer us the experience and knowledge that our franchising business model requires. Not only do they have a vast amount of experience in the sector, they creatively put together and manage our consumer campaigns, and perhaps more importantly are able to produce meaningful statistics showing the return on investment of our campaigns.
“On a personal level, it’s a pleasure to work with them, and I would have no hesitation in recommending their expertise and services.”